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Old April 27th, 2007, 07:50 PM   #721
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Latest:
AirAsia to fly direct to Ho Chi Minh by year-end

April 27 2007
BusinessTimes


HANOI: Low-cost carrier AirAsia is expected to have a Ho Chi Minh City-Kuala Lumpur weekly direct service by year-end to help meet the target of 100,000 tourists from Vietnam for Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai said this will supplement its present seven direct services a week between Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur.

“In view of the brisk growth in tourist arrivals from Vietnam so far this year, AirAsia is expected to have the additional service by the fourth quarter,” he told Bernama today.

“We hope they can do it soon.”

Lim noted that at present there are 39 weekly direct flights between Vietnam (from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City) and Malaysia by Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia dan Vietnam Airlines.

However, tourist agencies here complain that this is still insufficient and is stifling the growth of tourist traffic, he said.

Feedback from these agencies show that more tourists want to come to Malaysia, especially during the peak seasons of April-May and August-September but they are finding it difficult to get seats.

“The tourist agencies here want the Tourism Ministry to step in by helping to increase the number of flights or for larger aircraft to be used,” he said.

“We will talk to the airline operators soon.” — Bernama
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Old April 28th, 2007, 01:24 AM   #722
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Any news on Air Asia Lanka (AirSouthAsia)?? Have they bought any planes yet? Destinations?
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Old April 28th, 2007, 07:26 AM   #723
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Thought AirAsia Bangladesh will come first.......
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Old April 29th, 2007, 04:09 PM   #724
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Ministry wants KL-Vientiane flights to woo Laotian tourists
Linda Khoo Hui Lee, BERNAMA
VIENTIANE, SUN:

THE Tourism Ministry wants either Malaysia Airlines (MAS) or budget carrier, AirAsia, to operate Kuala Lumpur-Vientiane direct flights to woo more Laotian tourists to Malaysia.

In the absence of such flights to Kuala Lumpur, Laotian tourists had to transit either in Bangkok, Phnom Penh or Hanoi, which was time-consuming and costly, Deputy Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai said today.
“This inconvenience has led to many Laotians to skip Malaysia in their travel,” he said.

“Laos is the only Asean country without direct flight links from Kuala Lumpur. This has hampered Laotian tourist arrivals to Malaysia, more so this year being Visit Malaysia Year (VMY),” he told Malaysian journalists covering his two-day visit to Laos to promote VMY 2007.

Lim said the ministry would discuss with the Transport Ministry to order MAS or AirAsia to start KL-Vientiane and Vientiane-KL flights in the next six months.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 02:06 PM   #725
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AirAsia to add second daily flight to Hanoi
30 Apr 2007 2:08 PM


AirAsia is adding a second flight daily to Hanoi from Low Cost Carrier Terminal with effect from June 19 to cope with the high demand and strong load.

It currently operates one flight daily from Kuala Lumpur and two flights daily from its Bangkok hub via Thai AirAsia. It started flying to Hanoi from Kuala Lumpur on Oct 4, 2006.

In a statement on April 30, AirAsia said it would celebrate the introduction of the second flight with promotional fares starting from RM49.99 (USD$15).

The booking period to enjoy the special fare is open from May 3-5 for travel between June 19, 2007 to March 29, 2008.

AirAsia executive vice president commercial, Kathleen Tan, said, “When we plan this route, we are confident that it will perform and the response so far has proven to be better than what we’ve anticipated even though this is our first destination in Vietnam.

"The second frequency is a testament that low fares stimulate travel and we look forward to bringing more Malaysians to Hanoi with our amazing low fares.”
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #726
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:18 PM   #727
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:19 PM   #728
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Old May 15th, 2007, 07:28 PM   #729
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9 May, 2007
MALAYSIA AIRLINES SUCCESSFULLY CUTS OVER INTERLINE ELECTRONIC TICKETING WITH SINGAPORE AIRLINES

Subang Jaya, Malaysia (9 May 2007): Malaysia Airlines completes another milestone in its pursuit towards being Electronic Ticketing (eTicketing) capable by September this year with the successful roll out of interline eTicketing with its first partner, Singapore Airlines, effective 8 May.

This cutover represents firm advancement towards Malaysia Airlines’ RM400 million Passenger Services System rollout to upgrade all IT infrastructure to facilitate the airline’s move to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) standard eTicketing.

This will enable Singapore Airlines’ ticket offices to issue eTickets to all the destinations it services to passengers of both airlines. The next phase will cover ticketing by Malaysia Airlines’ agents in Malaysia and Singapore, as well as Singapore Airlines’ agents worldwide. Subsequently, this initiative will cover all distribution channels of both airlines.

The partnership was formalised today at Malaysia Airlines’ Headquarters in Subang by Malaysia Airlines Commercial Director, Dato’ Rashid Khan and Singapore Airlines Executive Vice President Marketing & The Regions, Mr. Huang Cheng Eng.

A significant aspect of this initiative is both airlines will not consult to set fares together but each airline will determine its own fares independently.

Dato’ Rashid said, "We are delighted with the completion of this milestone, interline eTicketing, which sets us firmly on track to be eTicketing capable by 21 September.

“We want to thank Singapore Airlines for coming onboard as our first interline eTicketing partner. Their invaluable experience and support have enabled us to overcome many of the challenges along the way. We are also grateful to both teams and our vendors who have tirelessly worked under very tight timelines to complete this project.

“We will now move to implement this with over 200 airlines worldwide.”

Commented Mr Huang: “I am delighted that Malaysia Airlines chose Singapore Airlines as its first Interline E-ticketing partner thus further strengthening the already close ties we enjoy.

Interline E-ticketing is yet another addition to the long list of collaborative efforts by the two airlines to make air travel between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore as convenient as possible for their customers. I am sure customers of both airlines will welcome e-ticketing as this makes travel convenient and hassle-free.

I would like to thank my colleagues in Malaysia Airlines for their dedication, support and cooperation, which are so essential in bringing this project to fruition.

I would also add my thanks to the team from Singapore Airlines and all others who worked very hard to make the cutover a success. It is an accomplishment that we all can be proud of.”

With the rollout of Interline eTicketing between both airlines, plans are also under way to implement eTicketing for the shuttle service arrangement on the Kuala Lumpur - Singapore - Kuala Lumpur route.

Also present at this event were Malaysia Airlines Senior General Manager Transition Management, Dr. Amin Khan; Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President South-East Asia, Mr. Teh Ping Choon; Singapore Airlines Vice President Sales & Distribution, Mr. Yeoh Phee Teik; and IATA’s ‘Simplifying the Business’ Regional Programme Manager Asia Pacific, Mr. K.C Yeoh.

For more information, please contact:

Communications Division
Malaysia Airlines
Tel : (60) 7840 4512 (office hours)
Tel : (60) 12 6596523 (after office hours)
Fax : (60) 37847 3171
URL : www.malaysiaairlines.com

Public Affairs Department
Singapore Airlines
Tel : (65) 6541-5880 (office hours)
Tel : (65) 9753-2126 (after office hours)
Fax : (65) 6545-6083
URL : www.singaporeair.com


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Old May 18th, 2007, 03:18 PM   #730
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MAS faces arbitration on claims by Maldives Air
16-05-2007:


Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) is facing arbitration at the ICC International Court of Arbitration, Paris, after Air Maldives Ltd alleged that MAS had failed to perform its duties under a management agreement signed on Jan 16, 1996.

In a statement on May 16, MAS said it had received a letter from the secretariat of the Court of Arbitration giving notice of the arbitration proceeding initiated by Air Maldives.

It said the notice referred to the memorandum of understanding dated July 29, 1994, between the government of Maldives and Malaysian Helicopter Services Bhd (MHSB), now known as Nalur Corp Bhd.

The notice also referred to the shareholders agreement dated Oct 1, 1994, between the government of Maldives and MHSB, and the management agreement between MAS and Maldives Air.

"MAS is taking legal advice to challenge the claim," the national carrier said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia. MAS said the notice did not specify the amounts claimed by Maldives Air.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #731
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BizFocus:
AirAsia expands network its way

May 17 2007
BusinessTimes

Quote:
In an era of affiliations and alliances, AirAsia Bhd is poised to groom Malaysia into the Dubai and Changi of low-cost airlines, and doing it entirely on its own.
WHILE airlines across the globe are busy forming strategic partnerships, be they through code-share or alliances, budget airline AirAsia Bhd is adamant about expanding its network entirely on its own.

Within the next five years, AirAsia aims to double its current routes to 150 from 75, while associate airline AirAsia Long Haul intends to fly to 75 medium- and long-haul destinations across the globe - under the point-to-point model.

Among the areas to be covered by AirAsia Long Haul are South Asia, North Asia, Australasia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

Datuk Tony Fernandes, AirAsia's chief executive officer and Fly Asian Express director, feels that code-share will not fit into its overall expansion plan, and will interfere with its business focus.

"We do not believe in code-share as we feel that it will jeopardise the sovereignty of an airline. Besides that, the whole concept of sharing seat inventory as well as interlining will complicate the entire operations and this, in the end, will interfere with our focus."

While some might be sceptical about AirAsia's expansion strategy, Fernandes pointed out that Emirates is among the legacy carriers which have benefited from the point- to-point method.

In his recent meeting with his counterpart in Dubai, he was inspired to see how Emirates had managed to turn itself into one of the world's most profitable carriers, despite being in operations only for slightly over 12 years.

"Emirates is not in any alliance. Point-to- point enables them to be more focused, and this is the reason why they are successful. Through this method they don't have to worry about politics, local competition nor how neighbouring airlines or partners feel about their business decisions.

"This is basically what we envision AirAsia to be. We have, from the start, been very focused in what we do. Emirates' success is an inspiration to us in our network expansion plan," Fernandes told Business Times in an interview.

Most legacy airlines today are forming links with one another, and slowly moving away from the point-to-point network expansion model as a result of the increasingly challenging global aviation scene.

In light of volatile fuel prices and further air liberalisation talks, many airlines feel that strategic partnerships will enable them to enhance network efficiencies and eventually reduce risks of operating non-profitable routes.

In response to this, Fernandes argued that with the right marketing effort, there is no such thing as an unprofitable route.

He said that all destinations have the potential to be profitable if the right marketing and branding approach is adopted

"AirAsia has all the while been brave in introducing new routes that were not served by other airlines. Today, all these routes are making money.

"Every route can make money. It all depends on how you market these destinations," he said.

Fernandes further explained that a nation stands to gain a lot from having a strong airline, and that this is what Emirates has contributed towards making Dubai one of the world's economic powerhouses.

He pointed out the spin-off effects of the airline business on other sectors, such as tourism, hospitality, trade and property.

"Just look at Dubai. Because of Emirates' success, it is easier for them to develop other sectors, such as tourism, trade as well as property.

"This is something that we want to do as well. AirAsia, for a long time, has been in the shadows of Singapore Airlines (SIA). That is why we are going all out in beefing up our product as well as branding in an effort to turn Kuala Lumpur into the Dubai and Changi of low-cost carriers," Fernandes said.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 03:12 PM   #732
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28 May, 2007
MALAYSIA AIRLINES’ FIRST 3 MONTHS PROFIT BEATS 2007 FULL YEAR TARGET (POSTS RM133 MILLION PROFIT IN Q107, EXCEEDS FULL YEAR TARGET BY RM83 MILLION)

Kuala Lumpur (28 May 2007): National carrier, Malaysia Airlines today announced a net profit of RM133 million for the first quarter ended 31 March, beating its 2007 full year target of RM50 million by RM83 million.

This stellar performance, marked the swing from loss-making to profits, as Malaysia Airlines improved its performance by RM454 million. It made RM133 million net profit in Q107, from a loss of RM321 million a year ago, as a result of its Business Turnaround Plan (BTP) initiatives.

Operating profit accounted for RM129 million (before finance costs and exceptional items), the airline’s third successive operational profit and highest since the BTP was announced in February 2006.

Quarterly revenue rose 21% to RM3.6 billion from RM3 billion previously, driven by a 21% increase in passenger revenue.




Malaysia Airlines Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Idris Jala said, “We had a really good quarter. In just the first three months of this year, we made RM133 million, and managed to beat our 2007 full year profit target by RM83 million.

“Making an operating profit of RM129 million in quarter one which is a seasonally lean period for the airline industry clearly shows that our focus on key business activities to deliver big results fast is paying off. We have rolled out new competitive and dynamic fares, opened storefronts by publishing new fare markets and put in tighter inventory controls. We are now aiming to hit our stretch profit target of RM300 to RM700 million for the year.”

The national carrier also improved its cash position to around RM1.8 billion from RM1.6 billion in December 2006. The airline had partially repaid some of its short term debt borrowings and the increase in cash is attributable to a strong cash position generated from operations.

Mr Jala, however, said that, “We must be relentless in implementing the BTP as there is still a long way to go. As competition intensifies, we have to work harder to increase revenue, reduce cost and further improve the level of our service delivery. This is especially critical as the second quarter is typically a lean time for the industry and consequently, it has traditionally been the airlines’ worst financial period.”


Q107 vs. Q106 (January-March)


Q107 incorporated the second full quarter of the domestic business’ P&L since the domestic rationalization on 1 August 2006. The domestic business made an operating profit (before finance costs and exceptional items) of RM22 million during the quarter.

Passenger revenue was up 21% to RM2,593 million from RM2,137 million in Q106. The upward trend was reflected in a 15% increase in yield (a measure of average fares per passenger per kilometer flown) to 26.1 sen/ Revenue Passenger Kilometer (RPK) compared to 22.6 sen/ RPK. Revenue per Available Seat Kilometer (a measure of revenue per kilometer) grew 19% to 18.5 sen/ ASK from 15.5 sen/ ASK while seat factor was up 2 p.p.t.

For the first time, both yield and seat factor increased concurrently since the BTP was launched at 15% and 2 p.p.t. respectively. This demonstrates the success of the airline’s new competitive and dynamic fares which has attracted more customers.




As expected, cargo revenue was down by 4% to RM534 million from RM556 million due to reduction in belly space as a result of the airline’s route rationalization in line with the BTP.

Outlook


Malaysia Airlines will continue to focus on improving its yield, network efficiency and savings. Its 2007 key business priorities to improve service delivery, to enhance revenue and productivity, to implement its Passenger Services System and structural cost reductions are on track.

Its B737-400 aircraft replacement plans are progressing well with proposals received from aircraft manufacturers, Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier. This is in line with Malaysia Airlines’ overall aircraft revamp exercise as it moves towards owning at least 30% of the fleet which will be used to serve its core routes in the Asia-Pacific area.

Issued by:

Media Relations, Communications Division
Malaysia Airlines, Subang
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Old May 29th, 2007, 03:15 PM   #733
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Bravo Idris Jala..make us proud.

Does the profit still include the sale of the MAS building?
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Old June 7th, 2007, 06:11 AM   #734
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MAS set to move fully into e-ticketing
Wednesday June 6, 2007
News Wednesday June 6, 2007
By WONG SAI WAN


VANCOUVER: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will be able to move into e-ticketing completely now that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has postponed the deadline for its members to go completely electronic.

MAS managing director Datuk Idris Jala said the airline was not able to migrate to e-ticketing completely because some of its 83 partner airlines were not ready.

"We have more than 220 interlining agreements and some of them have some issues about issuing e-tickets," he told reporters at the 63rd International Air Transport Association meeting here yesterday.

At present MAS issues e-tickets for domestic routes for purchases from its offices.

The national carrier has spent over RM200mil for a passenger services system for the purpose of e-ticketing.

This would not only reduce fraud but also give the airline a substantial savings of about RM190mil.

Idris, during a briefing on Sunday, said that it cost the airline RM19 for every paper ticket issued and MAS sells about 10 million tickets a year.

The resolution to postpone the Dec 31 deadline for all IATA members to implement e-ticketing was passed during the organisation's opening discussion to enable all members to comply after representation from smaller airlines.

The new deadline is May 31, 2008.

Idris also took part in the CEO forum where he spoke about MAS' business turnaround plan.

When discussing the issue of environment, Idris warned that airlines should not depend on technology to help them reduce pollution problems.

"As a former oil and gas man, I tell you that the technology will not be there to help us achieve zero emissions.

"However, I am sure that as we become more efficient, we will get very close to that figure," he said.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 06:23 AM   #735
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AirAsia X plans services to Australian city
By June Ramli
June 7 2007

Quote:
The low-cost airline is considering the destination, Newcastle, which would be a cheaper option than flying to Sydney, says its chief executive officer
AIRASIA X, the long-haul budget carrier, is planning to fly to Newcastle, Australia, its chief executive officer Datuk Tony Fernandes said yesterday.

He said that the low-cost airline was considering the destination which would be a cheaper option than flying to Sydney.

"We don't plan to have direct flights to Sydney in September but there is an airport that is two hours away from Sydney that is called Newcastle and just like Macau, we don't mind going to these places because it is cheaper," he told reporters at a press conference.

Fernandes was presenting a paper on how budget carriers have helped to boost tourism at a tourism conference in Kuala Lumpur.

AirAsia X, which plans to fly to London, has yet to start operations. It is due to start in September this year.

Fernandes also said that AirAsia Bhd would be spreading its wings to Aceh in the near future.

"Right now we are waiting for the local government to set up immigration booths (in Aceh) and we hope that our flights to Aceh would be able to revive the local economy there," he said.

Besides that Fernandes also said that AirAsia was still waiting for the rights to fly to Ho Chin Minh City in Vietnam while the flights to Shenzhen in China would start in another two to three weeks time.

"We would also be flying to Laos soon. With this destination, it means that AirAsia would have completed in servicing all routes in the Asean region," he said.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 06:25 AM   #736
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AirAsiaX's destinations
From AirAsia's website

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Old June 7th, 2007, 06:41 AM   #737
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Idris Jala First Malaysian Voted To IATA Board
June 6

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines (MAS) managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Idris Jala has been elected to the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) board of governors effective Wednesday until 2010.

The first Malaysian to be named to the 30-member IATA board, Jala joins other leaders from the world's leading airlines, MAS said in a statement.

Commenting on his appointment, Jala said: "This is an excellent opportunity for Malaysia Airlines to be involved in the key decisions impacting the airline industry as a whole."

He thanked all his staff for their full and continued support of MAS' business turnaround plan.

New IATA board chairman Fernando Pinto said: "Malaysia Airlines under Jala has made great progress in turning the corner.

"We are delighted to have him with us, and trust that his experience and invaluable insights will further strengthen the board."

IATA is a trade association representing some 250 airlines which account for some 94 per cent of the world's air traffic.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 03:39 PM   #738
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AirAsia X Invited To Operate In Africa
KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 (Bernama) -- Fly Asian Xpress Sdn Bhd (FAX) has been invited to operate long-haul budget carrier services, AirAsia X, in Africa.

Disclosing this today, AirAsia Bhd's group chief executive officer and director of FAX Datuk Tony Fernandes said several African parties had expressed their interest in low-cost carrier services, namely AirAsia X.

AirAsia X, which is expected to start operations in September, is a franchise of AirAsia that is to be operated by FAX.

Fernandes said AirAsia was currently evaluating and going "around the world" to visit airports and tourism authorities to get support for the low cost carrier.

"We have got encouraging response from the Middle East, Korea, Japan and China. Europe has been phenomenal in their response," he told reporters here today.

Earlier, Fernandes presented a paper entitled "The Rise of Low Cost Carriers in Transforming International Travel" at the three-day World Tourism Conference 2007, which ended here today.

To a question whether AirAsia X will be flying to Sydney, Australia, he said Sydney is not in their plan but it is looking at an airport known as New Castle Airport, which is two hours away from Sydney.

"We don't mind flying into an airport that is two hours away provided it is cheaper. We are appealing to the leisure market not the business market," he said.

Earlier in his presentation, Fernandes said AirAsia will be flying into new destinations such as Shenzen, Ho Chi Minh City, Acheh and Laos soon.

"For Shenzen, we are going through the final application and hope to be selling in the next two or three weeks but for Ho Chi Minh City, we are still waiting for rights approval. Hopefully, we can obtain it soon," he said.

Sharing the AirAsia success story, Fernandes said the airline has created the Asean brand through joint venture in Indonesia and Thailand.

"We want to grow and be known as Asean brand," he said.

Fernandes said 75 percent of its ticketing business is done through Internet and that it has received tremendous response from the public after it introduced Bahasa Malaysia and Chinese language versions in its website.

He added that the internet sales has grown up to 50 percent.

-- BERNAMA
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Old June 8th, 2007, 09:46 AM   #739
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If they launch service to Africa, i think they will pick Lagos or Nairobi.
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Old June 9th, 2007, 08:17 AM   #740
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MAS offers 250 packages for Asean tourists
Saturday June 9, 2007


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has introduced some 250 travel packages for people from Asean countries to come to the country, in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2007.

The initiative, a collaboration by MAS, the Tourism Ministry and selected Asean tour agencies, is aimed at promoting Malaysia as a value-for-money destination, said MAS commercial director Datuk Abdul Rashid Khan.

He said MAS has made available more than 2.5 million seats until year's end to accommodate the anticipated surge in tourists as a result of the attractive new packages.

“Starting from as low as US$108 (RM380), the packages offer a discounted rate of 10% to 15% from the usual prices to entice more tourist arrivals from Asean countries, and even tourists from China, India and South Korea.

“These offers will enable more foreigners to better plan their travel to Malaysia and improve the turnover for tourism-related services in Malaysia,” said Abdul Rashid.

Customised packages include a three-day/two-night Malaysian experience to popular attractions such as Genting Highlands, Penang and Langkawi and include accommodation, meals and return flight tickets.

Abdul Rashid said MAS had been aggressively marketing the packages, investing more than RM6mil in TV and print commercials in Asean countries.

“Selected print media in Asean countries are also carrying advertisements of our new packages. We are confident of attracting at least 1.7 million tourist arrivals this year from this exercise,” he said yesterday.
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